You may have heard of TRX suspension training, or maybe you saw some odd looking straps dangling in your friend’s home gym. But did you know how easy it is to get started with this effective full-body workout?
The TRX system has come a long way from its humble origins. A former Navy Seal was inspired by the ju-jitsu belt he had left in his bag. He tied a knot in the belt, put it over the door frame, and closed the door. Little did he know that the exercises he started to develop around this makeshift device would become a fitness phenomenon.
The current TRX HOME Suspension Trainer Kit is more sophisticated and more comfortable, but it hasn’t lost any of its intuitive ease.
TRX Suspension Training 101
The TRX Suspension Trainer helps you take basic movements — ones with which you’re already familiar — to the next level. You will maximize your precious gym time, hitting more muscle groups with every exercise. It mainly provides for bodyweight exercises, but you can always incorporate free weights if you choose.
With TRX, you get a discreet and affordable all-in-one home gym. There are no bulky weights or expensive machines. The basic device consists of an anchor and straps with convenient holds for hands or feet. The straps can be shortened or lengthened depending on the exercise you have in mind.
The Trainer is simple to set up and put away. Easy to transport, you can travel with it, loan it to a friend, or even take it outdoors when the weather’s nice.
To start, you’ll want to set up over a flat, stable surface. You need an area that is about as wide as you are tall and about two feet longer. You’ll also need a place to anchor the trainer that is between 7-9 feet off the ground.
Installing the Door Anchor
Slide the anchor over the door and shut it tightly, holding the anchor in place. Then attach the straps.
For added security, try to find a door that opens away from you. That way, your weight will only tug the door into the jamb as you use your TRX system.
Installing the Suspension Anchor
This anchor allows you to attach to bars, hooks, beams, or even tree branches. Just test to make sure the anchor point can support your weight!
If you want a more permanent, dedicated anchor point, the TRX Xmount is a steel plate that you can attach to walls, beams, or ceilings.
If you're still unclear, don't worry. Your kit will come with more explicit installation instructions.
TRX Body Benefits
The TRX system works by forcing you to engage stabilizing muscles while you go through your workout routine. Even when performing exercises aimed at developing arms and legs, you will use your core for a calorie-burning, total-body workout. And building a stronger core is crucial to overall fitness. It helps with everything from athletic performance to posture and spine health.
The TRX isn’t just good for strength-training. A study performed by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) evaluated its potential to reduce cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors. The study found significant decreases in:
- Waist circumference
- Body-fat percentage
- Resting systolic blood pressure
- Resting diastolic blood pressure
Whenever working out, it’s important to warm up and take things at the right pace for your body. When you’re ready to hit the TRX Suspension Trainer, here are some exercises you might try:
Start lying on your stomach with the straps a little above your feet. Slip your toes through the handles. The straps should be around your ankles.
Push up into a plank, driving your heels back and down and engaging your chest, shoulders, core, glutes, and leg muscles. Try to aim for as flat a plank as possible.
TRX Chest Press
Here at G&G Fitness Equipment, we’re big believers in the power of the push-up. The TRX chest press is a good alternative. Using the straps will also help you keep your body perfectly level, teaching your body how to perform a better-aligned push-up when you head back to the mat.
Start on the balls of your feet, facing away from the anchor. The straps should be fully extended as you hold them straight in front of your shoulders and push down into the handles. Lower yourself slowly, bringing your elbows out and back, in line with your shoulders. Then push out, raising your torso and bringing your hands back together.
Keep a level plank, engaging your core as you perform the exercise.
Shorten the straps and face the anchor point, moving back until you feel some tension in the straps. With your arms extended, lower your hips to a squat position. Arms still straight, squeeze your glutes and push down into the floor as you return to standing.
Repeat each exercise according to your current fitness level. If just beginning your fitness regimen, aim for two to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions.
Want more? Your kit comes with workout cards and six digital workout videos, letting you expand your repertoire of TRX basics.
Beyond the Basics
Because the TRX Suspension Trainer works with gravity, you can always increase the difficulty just by changing your position, increasing the amount of weight you support. You could also turn a two-handed exercise into a one-handed one or add weight to exercises such as squats.
Prefer to workout with a guide? Some fitness studios livestream TRX classes. You can also find countless videos like the ones on this guide published by Women’s Fitness IQ.